“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.”
— Carl Jung
One of the most misunderstood figures in the field of psychology is that of Carl Gustav Jung, iconic Swiss psychiatrist known for his tremendous work on the unconscious mind.
While it had been his specific achievements in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy which really prompted him to break into spotlit circles of study on the unconscious mind (specifically with respect to dreaming and his institutional retort to Sigmund Freud), Jung had another fascination that isn’t often recounted in mainstream academia: hermetical alchemy.
Several of the volumes of his ‘Collected Works’ deal explicitly with alchemical symbolism and how medieval alchemists had already seemed to construct an effective cataloging and understanding of our collective unconscious.
Today, we largely relegate ancient alchemical teachings to the hokum bin as they’ve not only rubbed against the grains of Christianity (often going as far as to directly threaten them), but they’ve also become immeasurably burdensome against the cold instruments of science and the almost-unreasonably high standards of modern materialistic scrutiny.
But what if there’s more to it? What if Jung had been onto something that still holds up as much today as it did in his day, something that may even become quantified by the enigmatic rules of quantum science. Surely, if the projections of medieval alchemists reverberated some measure of truth (at least to Jung), there must be something worth exploring further..
I sought to get some insight from Murray Stein, author of works such as Jung’s Map of the Soul, who has cultivated a rather intimate understanding of Jung’s fascination with medieval alchemy and, frankly put, another way to decode the mysteries of our subconscious mind.